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Mayor Emanuel Has New Plan For Small Businesses

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 10/28/2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has laid out two new plans to help Chicago small businesses compete with the large companies.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced two new programs that would give small businesses all city construction projects that are under $3 million, as well as credit city contractors who give work to minority firms in the private sector. The two programs aim to increase city contracts given to small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Rahm Emmanuel - Mayor of Chicago

The Chicago Tribune reported Emanuel's first plan, the Diversity Project, calls for contractors to receive $1 worth of credit to be used on bidding in the public sector for every $3 they spend in the private sector with a minority or woman-owned business. The collected credits can be used for up to 5 percent of a city contract, and to obtain the credits, companies will have to sign a sworn affidavit and allow the city to audit their books.

Emanuel's second plan, the small Business Initiative, would allocate construction jobs to small businesses, irrelevant of race or gender. Emanuel said the city is expecting $40 million in construction jobs in 2012, which could boost small business growth in construction and create new jobs.

The Chicago Sun Times reported after encouragement from Inspector General Joe Ferguson, Emanuel has decided to end the Target Market program and replace it with the two new initiatives. The Target Market program allowed minorities and women to compete against each other for the role of prime contractor, attempting to increase the percentage of female and minority workers holding the more lucrative position.

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